Microsoft’s Surface isn’t only Windows 8 machine

By Peter Svensson, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Can’t decide if you want a PC or tablet? Now you won’t have to. With the release of Windows 8, computer makers are doing their best to blur the boundaries with an array of devices that mash keyboards and touch screens together in different ways.

Some of these configurations are new, while others have appeared and disappeared on the market since at least 2002, when Microsoft Corp. released Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.

Microsoft says it has certified 1,000 devices for use with Windows 8 and its sibling operating system, Windows RT. The two systems look the same, but under the hood, they’re quite different.

Windows RT runs only on machines with the type of lower-energy, phone-style chips used in iPad and Kindle tablets. That makes for cheap, thin and light devices with very long battery lives — more than 10 hours. But those devices won’t run any programs written for other versions of Windows. In fact, they can run only applications downloaded directly from Microsoft’s online store, in a setup borrowed from Apple and its iPhone.

The ability of Windows RT devices to connect to peripherals such as scanners and printers is also limited.

Here’s a selection of the devices that went on sale Friday or will hit stores over the next few months:

Convertibles

These are the Transformers of the bunch. They run Intel chips and may look like staid laptops at first glance, but one way or another, they convert into tablets.

Read more: Microsoft’s Surface isn’t only Windows 8 machine

Filed in: Blogs

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